KajaFax SuperFan #2
KajaFax SuperFan Series #2
Our second super fan in the series is Steve (theraggedtiger) from the UK.
Hey Steve thanks for agreeing to be a KajaFax SuperFan!
Thank you for asking me!
Please can you tell us how you came to be a big fan of KajaGooGoo?
Sure. When I was at school, synthesiser music dominated the charts. I loved (and still do) acts like Visage, Human League, Japan & Spandau Ballet to name but a few. Bass lines were always the hook for me, and I always admired and wanted to be like my bass playing heroes – namely John Taylor and Martin Kemp. What made me a Kajagoogoo fan? ‘Too Shy’ had already charted by the time I heard it, receiving serious Radio 1 airplay. I was captured by Nick’s bass line after one listen. At that point, Nick Beggs was added to my list of bass guitar heroes. I invested 3 weeks of my pocket money in a copy of the record (a big buy for mini me) and was very happy that it had a great ‘B’ side too!
Having seen them in Look In magazine and on TOTP, I also thought that the band were seriously cool dudes, which of course in 1983 they were! Several of the boys in my school had the Limahl bleached mullet hairstyle, and I was so jealous!
Soon after, ‘Ooh to be Ah’ hit the Top 40, and I was transformed into a fully fledged fan! So much so, that I added ‘White Feathers’ to that year’s Christmas list, alongside Seven and the Ragged Tiger by Duran. Little did I know what was to happen with the band as 1983 came to a close.
I remember being very angry by Limahl’s departure, but stayed with the group right through ‘Islands’ and ‘Crazy Peoples Right to Speak’.
Regular visitors to KajaFax will recognise your name from various items you own; you have quite a Goo collection?
Yes Steve, I do. As any collector will agree, collecting has got much easier with the advent of the internet. The days of record fairs and scrabbling through boxes of vinyl in some draughty old hall somewhere have, for me at least, gone. My collection consists of original era vinyl that have been in my collection since new, and other items that I have obtained through dealers, fairs, and the internet over the years. Unlike their contemporaries (Duran, Spandau Culture Club, etc…), Kajagoogoo were not heavily bootlegged, but I do have a couple of bootleg albums which are also nice things to own. As ‘KajaFax’ has already discussed, the real bug strikes in foreign issues of the KGG releases – the Japanese ones being the most desirable. The back catalogue for the band is surprisingly large and they were fortunate enough to be at their most active at a time when technology was growing fast, so every item is around in almost every format, most of which are now obsolete and therefore very collectable! Posters and magazines are another area rich in Kaja content too. The guys were interviewed and photographed for publications all over the world, so the scope for collecting those articles is immense.
Needless to say that collecting Goo items is an endless hobby, as there is always something new out there……….
Which would you say was your rarest item and which is your favourite?
I have lots of ‘Goo memorabilia, some of which is quite scarce. My rarest item would be my BBC Transcription disc from the ‘Islands’ tour of 1984. Like any fan of any band in the 1980’s, the ‘BBC In Concert’ shows were a rare chance to hear your idols on stage and any fan worth his or her salt would be glued to the radio with a cassette at the ready to record the experience for repeated listening! That is what I did and it wasn’t until 2009 that I got the actual disc of that show from a guy in the United States. I treasure it. My favourite item would be my signed t-shirt. Nothing unusual or rare in a t-shirt, but getting it signed backstage at the Stables reunion gig in 2008 has great significance and I love it for that reason!
Any special item which still eludes you?
I would love to have some video footage of one of the ‘Islands’ era concerts. I can’t quite understand how none seem to exist, as the band toured Japan extensively on that tour and the Japanese televise everything!
Somebody will have a VHS tape somewhere containing a TV broadcast of one of those concerts, and I intend to find it!
I know you’ve met the band, how was that experience for you?
Well, my first ever meeting with the band was at the Stables in 2008 – they always evaded me before then. Meeting them was awesome. I never thought that I would ever see the group perform on stage together again, never mind be backstage on a meet and greet!
They were all so easy to talk to, and more than happy to give autographs and have photos taken with the fans. I get terribly starstruck, so only asked a fraction of what I wanted to ask, but spoke to Nick at length about the band and its activities past, present and future. The atmosphere was genuinely warm and rates as one of the most memorable nights of my life to date.
I was also struck by Limahl’s endless energy. He tirelessly co-ordinated the photography and really got himself involved with the fans. A really nice guy.
I hope that I get the opportunity to meet them again someday, hopefully clutching a new Kajagoogoo album for them to autograph for me………….
Which has been your favourite live KajaGooGoo show that you’ve seen?
Kajagoogoo are a superb live outfit, so I have never been disappointed by them.
My favourite gig however would have to be the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, in 2009 – one of the ‘Space Cadet Tour’ shows. I thought the venue was right, the support act was superb, and Kajagoogoo played better than I ever saw them play before. The reunion shows are so much sweeter than the shows of the 1980’s, purely because we fans never thought we would ever see them! Also, nowadays the guys are technically better musicians. Years of working with other people on solo projects has turned the youthful exuberance of the early days into seriously accomplished musicianship. Simon Le Bon once said that solo projects ‘stimulate the nucleus’ of a band, and I think he is probably right. Each individual band member has so much more to bring to the table nowadays.
Not to ignore the Wavendon shows, of course. I do have a soft spot for ‘The Stables’ and thoroughly enjoyed the shows the guys have played there………
In a current quiet time for the band, what keeps your interest so high?
Ha ha……that’s a good question. Firstly, as well as a Kajagoogoo fan, I am also a bit of a Durannie, so I am more than used to long periods of inactivity!
I guess the answer to that one is hope. Years ago, if a band were dropped by their label after a couple of near miss singles or a low selling album, that would be the end of them. In these days of digital media and home recording, acts have the luxury of being able to record when, where, and how they want. No label need be involved and no tough deadlines to meet. The band has overcome their main obstacle which was the ill feeling left over from 1983, and with access to their own studio anything is possible. ‘Gone to the Moon’ proved that.
It’s just a good time to be a fan right now. The 25 year gap was a mere glitch…….
What is your favourite KajaGooGoo track?
Well, that is a rather difficult question to answer on a number of levels. I view the bands history in four distinct stages, that is to say ‘Limahl’, ‘post-Limahl’, ‘original reunion’, and ‘full reunion’ eras. I think that ‘White Feathers’ would probably be my overall favourite, given that it has survived constant rotation on my turntable and/or CD player since 1983 without becoming boring! Having said that, there are another 4 tracks on the ‘White Feathers’ album that come very close to the number 1 spot!
The mark of a great album, I guess.
My favourite ‘Limahl-less’ song would probably be ‘The Power To Forgive’, but again there are many songs that are a close second to it – ‘Rivers’, ‘Turn Your Back On Me’, and ‘Nightingales’ are good examples.
What is your favourite KajaGooGoo album?
That’s an easy question…..’White Feathers’. Not to dismiss the other three long players, but ‘White Feathers’ has that nostalgia attached to it as it was their first, and of course the album that introduced me to a band that would remain a part of my life
Who is your favourite KajaGooGoo band member?
Nick, for being such a cool guy and an all round nice bloke to chat to, although I have to say that Jez is a thoroughly nice bloke as well!
I have met the band on more than one occasion and they are always charming and give the fans 100% of their time.
What are your hopes for the band for 2011?
I would dearly love a new album. Realistically though, I think that 2011 will be a year of more festivals and hopefully another ‘Stables’ show.
Now if I could have all of those things, my 2011 would be a happy one!
Any message you’d like to send out to your fellow fans and also to the band?
Just to keep the faith and support the band by attending the shows. Good tour attendance means a happier Kajagoogoo, which in turn means new material!
We hope to hear a lot more from you on the blog in 2011 Steve, many thanks for talking with KajaFax
It’s been fun. Thank you for asking me!